Meet Filippo Romagnoli, the Artist Behind Our Florentine Woodblocks
Posted on October 02 2018
When Joann Condino, a first-generation Italian-American, met Italian journalist, cookbook author and blogger Domenica Marchetti, author of seven cookbooks on Italian fare, she had no idea how much her new friend would change her cooking as well as her professional life.
Domenica introduced Joann to a 3rd-generation Italian woodcarver who lives and works in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a village 20 minutes from Florence, Italy. Filippo Romagnoli hand-carves two-piece wooden cutters/engraved stamps that emboss stunning patterns in fresh corzetti pasta. He also carves intricate Renaissance-style picture frames and decorative lovespoons, and turns simple yet elegant wooden rolling pins.
Like his grandfather, who opened a wood-carving shop in Florence in 1918, everything Filippo creates is by hand, using only local and Tuscan woods from the heart of “Florentine Chiantishire,” as he describes it. In 1933, the family moved its shop to its present-day location, and has carved everything from desks to tables, headboards to consoles and, naturally, pasta tools.
“Each time I touch one of my works, I feel this history,” Filippo says. That history includes much more than simply three generations of knowledge and skill. It also includes three generations of deep respect and adoration for native wood and those distinct, lovely patterns that pay tribute to the rich artistic history of Florence.
If you’re in Northern Michigan, please stop in to see, touch and feel some of Filippo’s hand-carved wood blocks. They are as beautiful as the fine linens we create using them.